Why food access is a growing issue in Minnesota

photo of executive director Sophia Lenarz-Coy

Food shelf visits in our state are still at record highs. At the peak of the pandemic, it was easy to understand how more people in our community were experiencing hunger than ever before. We saw and felt firsthand job loss, health disparities, and major disruptions to our daily lives. But when the staggering number of food shelf visits in 2020 paled in comparison to the number of visits in 2022 (5.5 million), many were stunned.

While the past few years have carried major setbacks for food equity, there have also been unprecedented wins. This May Minnesota approved $5 million in funding for food shelves and agreed to provide free school meals for all Minnesota students.

Today we have hope. Below is a timeline that outlines recent events impacting food access in our state — for some communities more than others.

The graphic is of a timeline that outlines events in the past 3 years that impacted food access in Minnesota.


I am motivated by the many ways you support our work and especially mindful of our strength when we build change together.

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Sophia Lenarz-Coy

We Value Nutritious Food
Working with our community partners, The Food Group buys, gleans, grows, and processes fresh produce.

Food Bank
or Food Shelf?
The Food Group is a food bank that supplies other hunger relief agencies with fresh produce, frozen meat, grocery staples, and other household necessities. Food shelves distribute free food to individuals and families in their local communities.

The Food Group believes in food equity. They believe in culturally specific foods. They believe in meeting people where they are at. And most of all, they believe in dignity.

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Did You Know?
Over 20% of Black households and 19% of Latinx households report food insecurity, compared to 10% of white households.

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The Food Group

We’re a nonprofit working at the intersection of equity and access to fresh, sustainable foods. From farming to distribution, we provide fresh food across MN and WI.

The Food Group is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. EIN 41-1246504 Contributions are tax-deductible to the full amount provided by the law.

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